Monday, March 14, 2011

Chinese crackers over fortune cookie

The plaque originally valued at £60 to £80.

An Italian plaque sold by a Petersfield family has broken the record price tag for a Petersfield auction house.

Crackers and Stunt auctioneers, of Lavant Street, sold the 17th century marble painting for £45,000 during an auction on February 25.

Auctioneer Hugh Guest-Badleigh said: “Apparently it’s very rare – It would appear the painting might be something by someone famous from a time long ago.

“We had five people bidding from Italy and two from America, all live on the day. So we had... wait I can do this, five, six, seven. Yes seven phone bidders from abroad on the day.

“All seven of them had a go, four of them were out at about £20,000 and there were two left, is that right? Seven minus four; yes two left.

“One fellow was on his mobile to Italy and the other was using our phone, cost me a ruddy fortune, you know how Italians can rabbit on.”

The price was the highest ever received by Crackers and Stunt in its 106-year history and Guest-Badleigh was as shocked as anyone.

Based on advice from the auctioneer the family did not put a reserve on the plaque, Guest-Badleigh having only valued it at £60 to £80.

“It is always the things that I don’t think are valuable that end up selling for quite a lot of money”, he told Newswire.

This was the second time this year the Petersfield auctioneers surpassed the record for their highest ever sale. Two Chinese oil paintings recently fetched £20,000 having been estimated to fetch between £3 and £5 by the town’s self-appointed guru.

“The markets are like this at the moment; the best things will reach higher values while the crap doesn’t sell quite so well. Shiny and dusty things are always popular.

“I think it is because more than one person competes for the same thing, pushing the price up, it’s extraordinary really.”

Anyone who has something shiny or dusty to auction should contact Crackers and Stunt on 01730 232323 or e-mail:


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